• Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

Reproductive Rights

Abortion rights and access vary greatly from state to state — and sometimes even within a state. Some states have enacted laws that target and burden abortion providers, forcing many clinics to close their doors. Others have banned specific safe abortion procedures or imposed arbitrary gestational cut-off dates after which one cannot legally have an abortion. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some states have expanded abortion access by requiring public and private insurers to cover the cost of abortion care. Colorado falls somewhere in the middle of these two ends of the spectrum.

Thanks to voters, abortion rights advocates and progressive lawmakers, Colorado does not have some of the most common abortion restrictions seen in other states. We do not have mandatory waiting periods, ultrasound requirements, arbitrary gestational limits, or restrictions on what types of safe abortion procedures medical providers can offer patients. Colorado does, however, have a few abortion restrictions that prevent many from accessing care — especially young people, Coloradans with public health insurance coverage, and our neighbors held in jails and prisons.

The biggest barrier to abortion access in Colorado is a state constitutional amendment that prohibits the use of public funds for abortion care. This means that Coloradans who get their health insurance through a government employer, those with state Medicaid coverage, and those who are detained in a state correctional facility cannot rely on their health insurance to cover any portion of the cost of abortion care. They must pay for the entire cost of care themselves or seek the financial assistance of a local or national abortion fund.

Colorado also restricts abortion access by requiring young people under the age of 18 to notify a parent or guardian before accessing care. (Note: the law requires parental notification only — not consent). Only a judge can waive this parental notification requirement. In reality, most young people choose to involve a parent without a legal mandate. Those who don’t may fear for their safety at home. Colorado’s parental notification requirement makes it harder for the most vulnerable teens to access the care they need.

Despite these obstacles to abortion access, most Coloradans believe that everyone should have access to the full range of reproductive healthcare — including abortion — and the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions free from political interference.


What are our goals for reproductive rights in Colorado? 

For over a decade, Coloradans have continuously and decisively rejected attempts to ban abortion on the ballot and at the legislature. In November of 2020, Coloradans across party lines voted to soundly defeat Proposition 115, a ban on abortion later in pregnancy.

Through litigation, public education and legislative advocacy, ACLU of Colorado strives to ensure that everyone has the freedom and resources to make decisions about reproductive healthcare, forming intimate relationships, and building secure and healthy families. We work to protect and expand access to comprehensive sex education, contraceptive equity, abortion, and positive, equitable health outcomes for all who choose pregnancy.  We oppose all efforts to erode these rights.

Campaign Goals:

  1. Repeal the Colorado state constitution ban on abortion care to allow state funds to be used.
  2. Ensure our neighbors in Colorado jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers have access to abortion and the full range of reproductive healthcare services.
  3. Continue to engage with community through skills training workshops and community events such as the Reproductive Rights Roadshow. The Reproductive Rights Roadshow provides us and community with a space to engage, connect and listen to the latest happening in community.
  4. Public Education and Know Your Rights training. We offer educational resources and free Know Your Rights trainings to inform community members of their Reproductive Rights and how to protect them.


Our Other Reproductive Rights Work 

In recent years, Colorado has unfortunately become a prominent battleground for reproductive rights, as political extremists have attempted to force their beliefs on the rest of the state through the so-called “Personhood” ballot initiatives and, most recently, a ban on abortion later in pregnancy. The ACLU of Colorado has worked tirelessly with partners to soundly defeat these attempts to erode reproductive freedom in our state.

HB19-1032: Comprehensive Human Sexual Education in Colorado


Take Action 

Learn more and get involved with moving beyond the bans in Colorado:


Resources and information 


View All Cases

Related Cases

Mercy Regional Medical Center
Planned Parenthood v. Owens

View All Bills

Related Legislation

SB20-072:Human Sexuality Education Notification Requirement
SB20-077:Born Alive Child Physician Relationship
HB20-1098:Prohibition On Abortion After Twenty-two Weeks